Proper Tire Care

Pressure

Maintaining proper inflation pressure is crucial for getting the most out of your tires, both in long mileage and a comfortable ride. Stop by any Sullivan Tire and Auto Service for a complimentary air pressure check and adjustment. Come as often as you like, no appointment necessary! 

  • Air pressure is measured in pounds per square inch (PSI)

  • The PSI specifications for your vehicle can be found on the door frame of the driver side door (see image).

  • Adjust the air pressure when the tires are "cold", which means check it early in the morning or after the vehicle has been sitting for at least 3 hours. 

  • If you need to adjust for a "warm" tire, simply add 2-4 PSI to the vehicle manufacturer's recommended cold inflation pressure, and check the cold inflation pressure at your earliest convenience.  

  • Even a perfectly healthy tire loses 1-2 PSI per month, so it's important to check your pressures often   

  • Get your tire repaired at the first sign of a leak or nail hole puncture.   

  • Running your tires under inflated also means that you are overloading them, which can do permanent damage.

Alignment

A bad jolt from hitting a curb or pothole can throw your front end out of alignment and damage your tires if not corrected promptly. Have your alignment checked at least 1-2 times per year, or at the first sign of the vehicle not tracking straight when driving on a straight stretch of road (a.k.a. "pulling"). 

We are always happy to perform a free alignment check anytime you feel it necessary. 

Click here to learn more about our alignment packages. 

 

Rotation

Regularly rotating your tires will help you achieve more uniform wear. Unless your vehicle's owner’s manual has a specific recommendation, the guideline for tire rotation is approximately every 5,000-7,000 miles, or roughly every other oil change.   

 

  • Frequent tire rotations and tire inspections can help to identify an alignment or steering problem before too much damage occurs to the tire.  

  • This service is complimentary for the life of the tires when you purchase our Tire Maintenance and Protection Plan (TMPP). 

Tread

Checking your tread depth is one of the easiest ways to see if you need new tires. A tread depth gauge is an inexpensive and effective tool for measuring the amount of tread left on your tires. Hydroplaning can occur, even at low speeds, if the tread is not deep enough to channel the water from under your tires. Stop by any Sullivan Tire and we'll be glad to take these measurements for you!

  • Tread depth measurement is taken by a number out of 32nds of an inch, and should be taken from the tread grooves at three different areas of the tread (inner, center, and outside).
  • Tread below 2/32" depth, the Department of Transportation (DOT) considers the tire as having reached the end of its useful life and should be replaced.

New Tire Tread

  • Most car tires come with around 10/32" tread depth when new
  • Most Light Truck/SUV tires come with around 14/32" tread depth when new

Measuring Your Tires

  • At or below 2/32" tread depth, tires should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • At or below 4/32", it is not uncommon to feel a significant difference in traction and grip. You should begin to think about tire replacement.
  • Although only one area of the tread may be at or below 2/32” measurement, it is important to remove this tire from service to avoid running the risk of compromised driving control when cornering or driving in adverse weather conditions.

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